I’ve worn LL Bean Maine Hunting Shoes (Bean Boots, Duck Boots) for years and years, and I basically love them. The pair I’m wearing right this very second I’ve had since I lived in Michigan (where I grew up) and they’ve traveled with me to North Carolina, Texas and back to North Carolina. They are 10-inchers with the light-duty Thinsulate lining from about 1992. I love these boots. But… yes, there is always a but… I’ve developed a wandering eye. Here’s the deal, I’ve got a few issues:
- My foot has grown and my boots are only comfortable with thin to medium socks. I can’t wear my good, thick hunting socks for extra warmth without feeling like my I’ve pulled my car too far in to the garage.
- They’re not 100% waterproof. I think they were, but not any more. They are like 98%.
- They are not super-warm. They are fine if you are staying pretty active and it’s not to0 far below freezing. But sitting or standing around and my feet get downright cold.
- I wear them every morning to walk the dogs during the cold months. I am SOOO sick of lacing and tieing these every morning at 5:30 AM, then take them off soon afterwards. What a pain. And my dogs are complaining about how long it takes me.
I thought I had a plan. I’ll get a fleece-line pair of the Bean Boots that are the pull-on style. Well, turns out they don’t make those any more. WHAT? I know. They do make a zippered pull-on that could work, but they are not going to be shipping until April. WHAT again. I know. So I had to look elsewhere. I am forced to go back to playing the field and find a new boot that will make my dreams come true.
So, I made my move. Yep. Sorel. Here is what I went for:
Not exactly a Bean Boot, but in the same neighborhood. I ordered a 9.5 which should allow me to wear any socks, or even multiple pairs if I get all crazy. The Sorel website says they are 100% waterproof, so I’ll not need to steer the pups away from those puddles anymore. And they have more Thinsulate, so they should be good and warm. And, most importantly, they are pull-ons so they are quick and easy. I’m excited to see how I like them.
Could these replace my beloved Bean Boots? We’ll see.